Posts Tagged as Home Sellers

Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite: Bed Bug Issues in Real Estate Sales

Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite: Bed Bug Issues in Real Estate Sales

It’s a nightmare scenario. A buyer moves into their would-be dream home, only to find uninvited residents: bed bugs. As infestations rise nationwide, bed bugs are increasingly affecting real estate sales transactions.

Know the Signs

Bed bugs are equal opportunity pests and “dirty” has nothing to do with it. These masterful menaces hitchhike their way into luxury apartments, suburban homes, even the local library and theater. Though not known to carry disease, their nighttime shenanigans are cause for severe physical and psychological discomfort. How can you identify these pests?

– Like mosquitoes, they come out at night to drink blood, leaving behind itchy red welts on their victims.

– With apple-seed-like bodies, bed bugs hide in the nooks and crannies of mattresses and sheets.

– They often leave behind dark fecal/blood stains on linens, mattresses, box springs, and carpets.

– Pearly-white, pea-sized egg deposits may be found along headboards, electrical plates, baseboards, and window casings.

– White, rice-like, exoskeletons from moltings are often found under area rugs.

Discuss Disclosure Dilemmas:

Seller Beware

Though real estate sales agreements are broad, and don’t typically list bed-bug-specific issues, this doesn’t mean sellers are off the hook. Failure to list a bed bug infestation could be seen as a breach of disclosure of latent defects, leaving sellers liable for litigation.

Buyer Beware

Until states begin to incorporate bed-bug-specific realty regulations, hiring a pest control company, in addition to the typical home inspection, could be money well-spent.

Don’t Delay

If home sellers or new residents come across bed bugs, advise residents to seek professional help ASAP. Some home remedies are dangerous, and tossing bug-ridden items spreads bed bugs to neighbors. Bed bugs reproduce rapidly, and infestations can be costly to treat: $250-900 per room, and up to $5,000 for extreme infestations. Timely treatment is imperative.

Don’t let your career fall victim to bed bug bites. Stay informed on the latest issues effecting real estate sales with Properties Online today.

Things You Don’t Know About Mold that Could Land You in Hot Water

Things You Don’t Know About Mold that Could Land You in Hot Water

Mold is a hot-button topic in real estate sales. Today’s tightly-sealed, more efficient buildings provide an ideal environment for its growth, and as public awareness of the issue grows alongside multi-million-dollar mold settlements, it pays to stay on-point when it comes to evolving mold legalities.

You Aren’t Required to be a Mold Expert – But You Can’t Stick Your Head in the Sand

While it’s not up to you to detect and diagnose mold issues, you must be knowledgeable and aware of the basic signs of mold to protect your clients (and your reputation). Red flags include:

– Musty, mildewy odors.

– Stained walls, ceilings, and baseboards, from common to multi-colored varieties.

– Plumbing leaks and drainage problems.

What to Do if You Suspect Mold & Why You May be a Target

Unfortunately, for most states there are no standard practices in effect – though that is rapidly changing. California recently enacted the country’s first mold legislation, listing standards for acceptable indoor levels and requirements for home seller disclosure.

In the wake of recent lawsuits and legislation, home inspectors and pest control operations are rapidly adjusting disclaimer legalese to limit their liability, with homeowners insurance companies commonly limiting compensation. Thus agents should be prepared for the possibility of agent liability with buyer clients in real estate sales involving mold issues.

Tips to Reduce Liability and Protect the Health of Your Real Estate Career:

1. Be diligent about checking for red flags, including odors and visual cues.

2. If you notice mold, carefully word disclosures, avoiding ‘black mold’ and ‘toxic mold’ verbiage. You’re not offering expert analysis. Be generic: Note ‘mold-type’ or ‘mildew-like’ staining/odors and their location(s).

3. Refer clients to ‘contact a qualified specialist for review,’ insisting potential buyers have their own, independent home inspection conducted.

4. Get to know mold experts in your area. Provide a list, but do not recommend particular vendors.

Real estate sales problems growing like mold? PropertiesOnline can help.

Shutting Down the Money - Chinese Real Estate Investments Dry Up

Five Signs That Sellers are Itching to Unload

Every seller wants to sell their property – otherwise they wouldn’t be listing. But sometimes sellers get a bit carried away. And smart real estate buyer’s agents know the signs: The signs sellers need to get out of Dodge. With the right foresight, you and your clients can snag a sale fast – and at a great price.

Five Signs the Seller is Itching to Sell:

1. The listing is screaming for a buyer.

Common signs include multiple price reductions, asking price below market value, and ‘cash only’ transactions.

2. New family additions.

Multigenerational family situations, from beds in the family room or den bearing in-laws, to a crib crammed into the corner of the closet of a parent’s bedroom, are bright, flashing neon signs sellers need to move – and yesterday.

3. Sellers answer questions candidly and quickly…

Noting problem areas such as the need for a new roof or past flooding issues without batting an eye. Sellers don’t usually disclose such information, in hopes of eking out every last dollar from the sale of their home. But desperate sellers will, in hopes of preventing any last-minute sales snafus that could have them waiting ever longer for another seller to come along who is capable of catering to such issues.

4. The seller doesn’t live in the house anymore.

Real estate buyers agents should know right away, if the home is vacant, it’s game-on. The seller cannot cover two mortgages over an extended period of time without their finances taking a serious hit.

5. The home is listed as an estate.

Heirs to an estate are often anxious to sell the home of the original owner, and are often more willing to move on price in efforts to liquidate assets and move-on.

Stand out from the average real estate buyer’s agents, bringing more to the table with the help of Properties Online today.

It’s Time to Up Your Game. Are You Ready?

William Gibson once said, “The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed.”

I can’t help but think of that quote when I look at statistics on real estate marketing – particularly what buyers and sellers want and how many real estate professionals are able or willing to meet that demand. Home buyers and sellers are consumer. They, like all consumers, want accurate information immediately, in ways convenient and flexible to their ever-changing needs.

William Gibson once said, “The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed.”

I can’t help but think of that quote when I look at statistics on real estate marketing – particularly what buyers and sellers want and how many real estate professionals are able or willing to meet that demand. Home buyers and sellers are consumer. They, like all consumers, want accurate information immediately, in ways convenient and flexible to their ever-changing needs.

Did you know that, according to NAR:

• 92% of homebuyers used the Internet as an information source
• 73% of homeowners say they’re more likely to list with a realtor who offers video
• Only 4% of agents actually offer video as part of their marketing package to home sellers
• 75% of Internet homebuyers drove by or viewed a home they saw online
• 43% of buyers first found their home on the Internet
• 56% of home buyer prospects expect to be contacted within 30 minutes of expressing interest in a property

According to Forrester Research it is 50 times easier to achieve a page 1 ranking on Google with a video. And NPD tells us that mobile and tablet shoppers are three times as likely to view a video as laptop or desktop users.

If your response to this is “So what?” you have got to get with the program! Mobile is here. Which means your websites (agent website, single property websites, etc.) better have responsive design. Your clients—homebuyers and home sellers—want you to respond to their needs FAST. Meeting that demand requires an investment in technology, like Smart Lead Capture. And video simply must be part of your real estate marketing offering.

I’m reminded of another quote, this one from Albert Einstein: “If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got.”

It’s time to up your game. Are you ready?

Rising Mortgage Rates Fail to Dampen the Buyer's Market

Preparing Your Sellers for Home Showings

Selling a home can be a long, complex process. If only selling a home was easy! But the reality is, selling a home is anything but easy (hey, that’s why sellers need your expertise!), And while you as a real estate professional are well aware of this fact, not all home sellers realize just how much effort selling their home would require. It is therefore your job, as their agent, to prepare your sellers for home showings.

Preparing the home for the sale is different than preparing the sellers. Preparing the sellers is more about emotional preparedness. The most important thing you could do is to have a conversation with the sellers about the psychology of buying a house – instead of  telling the sellers what they should and shouldn’t do, explain how buyers act and react to different circumstances and how the sellers’ behavior could therefore have a real impact on the sale process.

Above all, you want the sellers to be flexible and to realize that they will need to accept that some showings are going to be scheduled at the very last minute. They also need to realize that agents and buyers won’t always be on time, and that it’s important that they are not present in the house during showings, since this could be a serious turn-off for potential buyers who would feel uncomfortable truly exploring the home in the sellers’ presence.

As much as the sellers are attached to the house and feel that it’s “theirs,” they need to realize that once the sale process starts, their home becomes a real estate property that needs to be sold. Their stuff, their presence and their opinions are not necessarily helpful and could in fact interfere. The more emotionally detached the sellers can be about the process, the easier it will be on them – and on you.